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Accepting Friends’ And Relatives’ Dietary Choices And Hosting A Diet-Inclusive Meal

Greek Salad (Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay)

This article comes from a rather personal place in my heart. My parents and I have been vegetarians for over ten years now. We chose to be vegetarians for a variety of reasons: for our own health, for animal rights, for economic reasons… the list goes on and on.

Vegetarian skewer (Image by RitaE from Pixabay)
(Image by RitaE from Pixabay)

We’ve stuck to our choices for over ten years, and we don’t plan on changing our dietary choices anytime soon. After such a long amount of time, vegetarianism isn’t just a diet or a fad; it’s a lifestyle choice.

You would think that, after ten years, people would begin to understand that we aren’t going to change our minds. 

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

My grandparents — all four of them, my mom’s parents and my dad’s parents — can’t seem to wrap their minds around it. Every time we go visit them, they always seem baffled by the fact that we don’t want to eat whatever kind of meat they’ve prepared. No thank you. I’d rather not. We’re always polite when we decline. Even so, they’re always surprised — and sometimes offended — that we’re simply not interested. 

They try to cope with it by joking about it and making fun of us for it. “I’d offer you a burger if I thought you’d say yes,” they might say, always making us the butt of their jokes. We laugh along, because what else can we do? Is it really worth it to start a fight with family members just because they refuse to understand and accept our viewpoints on what we choose to eat?

Vegetables
(Image by Sabrina Ripke from Pixabay)

On this topic, I’d like to propose the following:

  • If you have any friends or family you’re spending the upcoming holidays with, please make sure you’re respectful of their dietary needs/restrictions/preferences. 
  • It will mean a lot to them if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in that stuffing recipe.
  • Don’t make fun of them or get offended if they’d rather not eat any of the turkey you’ve been preparing.

You don’t have to completely change your menu plan, but just make sure your guests can enjoy the family dinner too.

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